Monday evening, a cell phone company made its case to a Knoxville neighborhood that could soon be the site of a new cell tower.
U.S. Cellular wants to build the new tower at the corner of Washington Pike and South Mall Road, an intersection off I-640 between New Harvest Park and Home Depot.
"One of the first things people will see when they come off of [the highway] is this 150 foot tower stuck up here right in the middle of the intersection," said Gene Mathis, a long-time resident of the neighborhood.
Community members in the Alice Bell/Springhill Neighborhood met with U.S. Cellular representatives Monday evening to hear more about the plan.
"A lot of questions were asked, a lot of answers were given," Mathis said after the meeting. "My opinion at this point is, we probably don't have a leg to stand on."
The tower is just the latest to receive opposition from an East Tennessee neighborhood, and must still be approved by the Metropolitan Planning Commission.
According to MPC, federal law allows cellular companies meet service agreements already in place, which may require new towers.
MPC uses a set of guidelines established in 2002, called the Wireless Communication Facilites Plan, when considering an application.
The goal of those guidelines are:
"... to enable telecommunications providers to furnish comprehensive and efficient wireless communication services to the community, while minimizing the adverse impacts their facilities may have on neighboring properties."
In a report to MPC, a consultant to the commission reviewed the Washington Pike tower application and gave a recommendation to approve the location. That report was based on a variety of things, like the tower's proposed height and distance from residences.
Still, many neighbors, like Ronnie Collins, aren't completely convinced he's ready for a tower nearby.
"I think most of them would still like to see it in a different location, but I think they probably understood that, after the meeting, that there's not a lot that can be done to stop this," he said.
MPC has postponed action on the tower until its September meeting.